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Fob Watches

Watch fobs, which in their most basic form consist of a small chain that attaches to the watch to make it easier to grasp, came into popularity around the 18th century. Pocket watch wearers became frustrated with the only prior option: a pocket. At the time, men’s waistcoats were designed with a special exterior pocket to house ones pocket watch, but many wanted their timepiece to be more secure.

Soon after, fine metal chains in gold and silver began appearing, artfully attaching the pocket watch to a button lapel. As an added adornment, some paid for extensions, featuring anything from hallmarked silver seals to dazzling dangles that swung from the fob’s lapel attachment.

The fob was thus transformed into an artful statement of elegance that was otherwise utilitarian in nature, saving an entire generation’s pocket watches from precarious falls while adding a bit of luxury to their outfits.


Quick Facts

  • Some women during the Victorian era created fobs that held a lock of their hair, serving as a memento for their husbands to wear daily
  • The use of fob to describe a pocket watch accompaniment began in the 17th century, and its name was most likely derived from the old German colloquial “fuppe,” which referred to a pocket
  • Watch fobs could also be a means of commemorating historic events. In early 2015, a rare “Last Spike” gold fob was auctioned off, one of only a handful that were made to memorialize the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the late 1860s

Recommended Items at Auction

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7 COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION PATRIOTIC WATCH PIN & FOBS
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
7 COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION PATRIOTIC WATCH PIN & FOBS
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
2-FIRE RELATED WATCH FOBS, AHRENS FOX & BOYER
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
2-FIRE RELATED WATCH FOBS, AHRENS FOX & BOYER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$400 Bids
A gold pin set fob watch,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
A gold pin set fob watch,
by Sworders
Est: £200- £300
£1600 Bids
A FOB COMPASS, CIRCA 1800
Nov 02, 10:00 AM GMT
A FOB COMPASS, CIRCA 1800
by Charles Miller Ltd
Est: £150- £200
£750 Bids
Fob watch chain - Silver??
Nov 17, 6:00 PM EST
Fob watch chain - Silver??
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $50- $100
$400 Bids
Antique 19th C Watch Chain / Fob / Large Jump Ring
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique 19th C Watch Chain / Fob / Large Jump Ring
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $30- $50
$200 Bids
Group of vintage watch fobs and Western badge
Nov 16, 11:30 PM EST
Group of vintage watch fobs and Western badge
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $65- $75
$300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Fob Watches


Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Sworders

Sworders

Leonard Joel

Leonard Joel

Charles Miller Ltd

Charles Miller Ltd